Tri Suit

This post may not be useful to many, but if you are out there internetsearching for Made in the USA Triathlon gear- this is for you.

I was getting ready for the Pumpkinman Triathlon in Berwick last year and needed my apparel for the race day- something to swim, bike, and run in all in one.

I was pumped to find a) a tri gear store in downtown Bangor and b) a made in the USA “tri tank” and “tri shorts” there.

The people at Triathlete Sports in Bangor were very helpful and I found De Soto shorts, tank, and sports bra there. The whole line of De Soto tri gear is Made in the USA.

tri suit 1

Even if you just run, bike, or swim you should check out De Soto.

Here it is in action:

sarah tri

 

Bags

Schlepping my stuff at the State House in a stained, ripped tote bag got embarrassing so I went on the search for a Made in the USA messenger bag or computer bag to up my game.

I ended up with a hemp green and brown bag so I don’t know if I got quite as polished as some, but it’s still my style.

I am branching out from Made in the USA to Fair Trade with this post. I couldn’t find a bag that I liked and was within my budget that was Made in the USA. Most were leather and that’s not really my look.

I found Earth Divas and decided to go with a Fair Trade bag made in Nepal by a women’s cooperative. They say that 100% of the profits goes to the workers who make the bags. It’s hard to know for sure, but I hope they are doing what they say they are doing. That doesn’t always work.

I really like the bag. It has held up well and holds a lot in it. They sell not only computer bags but handbags and other goods.

http://www.earthdivas.com/computer-bag.aspx

bag (Small)

Ipad Case- FAIL

Okay, I know, to have to buy an iPad case clearly means I have an iPad, which was made in China, and there are clear reports of bad labor conditions at the iPhone factories. So it’s ironic to insist on a made in the USA case for it, but here I am. Electronics are a whole difficult subject of goods made over seas, a tough category.

After looking at three companies online that make ipad mini cases in the USA, I chose to go with “Treegloo.”  DO NOT ORDER FROM TREEGLOO! They took my money and never sent me the case. I had to finally file a claim with the BBB to get my money refunded.

So, I ordered a case from Portenzo.case

They actually mailed it to me which is an improvement on the last attempt, but I find that my iPad mini falls out of the case. I eventually stopped using it and it’s sitting on my bookshelf. It’s supposed to stink on these big stickers on the inside (I got the “hard shell” version”) but it falls right off.

So now I carry my iPad in a cloth bag that Andy’s mom made from fabric. It works. I guess homemade is sometimes just as good.

Anyone have experience with other made in the USA cases for electronic devices?

Swim Suit

My weekly swim workout buddy Emmie was quite worried that my suit was going to break any day now. I guess that’s to be expected as it was my racing suit from junior year of high school in 2001. (Go Rams).

So online I went and found Illusions Activewear and ordered a navy racerback suit.  Made in California.

I was bummed when it arrived and was too small, but when I called the company to figure out a better size, they were very helpful.  They had me measure myself, and they made me a custom suit!  It costs about as much as I would have paid for a name brand suit at the local big box store.

Tip: sizes run small and the fabric (at least on the style I chose) doesn’t stretch out too much. Measure yourself and use the sizing chart.

I took it for a test swim last week and it felt great.

bathing suit

Knives

Nothing worse than dull knives! If you are trying to cook and you have terrible knives, I know how you feel.

Lucky for me, Andy got CUTCO knives for the kitchen last Christmas to replace the old ones.

CUTCO knives are made in the USA, by the good women and men of the United Steelworkers.

They have a great selection and they work well.

http://www.cutco.com/home.jsp

CUTCO

 

Cast Iron Pans

Nothing like cooking on a well seasoned cast iron pan.

Lodge cast iron pans are made in the USA– they have small ones, big ones, and many different shapes.  We got a small skillet, a large skillet, a dutch oven and a round griddle.

http://www.lodgemfg.com/

Note– Lodge’s enameled cast iron pans are made in China, but their season cast iron and seasoned carbon steel products are made in the USA.

From their website:

All of our foundry Seasoned Cast Iron and our Seasoned Carbon Steel products are manufactured in the USA and always will be. All Enameled Cast Iron products are made in China to our strict quality standards.”

 

cast iron pans

Bonus, you can cook with them on the wood stove when the power is out.

Mattress

My last mattress had been my grandparents’, and when the springs starting sticking out, I used duct tape.  When the springs broke through the duct tape, I decided to take the plunge and buy a mattress- a new one.

This was about four years ago. I heard a radio ad for a mattress company just down the hill from my apartment at the time in Portland, Maine. Can you believe it? Mattresses made in Portland, right on Marginal Way.  Portland Mattress Makers to the rescue.

I swung down, tried some out, and happened to hit up a President’s Day sale. They delivered my new mattress, took away the old one, and I slept happily ever after.

Seriously, I love my bed.  Great investment.

mattress logo

 

Underwear

I could not for the life of me find USA made underwear–everything was imported.  I found a few places, but they were super expensive.

Finally, I found bgreen apparel!

http://bgreenapparel.com/

Love the fit, love the colors. I got classic bikini and bikini with lace. I’ll skip posting photos but you can see them on their website.

I also got some leggings from them which I also really like. Very comfortable.  It’s made from organic cotton, a big bonus.

They also sell men’s clothing.

leggings

2nd option: I also ordered underpants from Uranus Apparel. They make “soyshorts” or soy fiber undies. If you like the boy cut/ short cut style, these are good. It’s not personally my favorite but if you like that style, they are made in the USA.

http://uranusapparel.com/

Gals out there– have you found any made in the USA drawers to suggest?

Fellas– suggestions for the men’s side of things?

Men’s Work Pants

Here’s a find I have been so excited to share!

I was looking high and low for men’s work pants, as my sweetie pie Andy had a birthday coming up and he really wanted some new pants.

He doesn’t wear jeans, he wears duck pants, like Carhartts. But I was struggling to find Made in the USA work pants.  I know most Carhartt products are made overseas these days.

Finally I found that one pair of Men’s Carhartts are Made in the USA, and even better, they’re union made. AWESOME.

They are the Men’s Double-Front Work Dungaree.  Here’s the link: http://www.carhartt.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10101&storeId=10051&productId=32060&langId=-1

Please note- not all of the Carhartt pants are made in the USA– as far as I can tell, it’s just this pair.

His birthday was yesterday and he opened the box, so I can finally post about it on the blog.carhartts

Winter boots

Anyone who lives in the north needs a good pair of warm boots!

After one ice fishing weekend up to my friends Harley and Kristen’s camp up outside of The Forks, standing on the ice in my rain boots, in knew it was time for a real pair of grown up snow boots.

Luck has it, I found some great, warm, made in the USA boots by Kamik.

http://www.kamik.com/b2c_us_en/canuck-5185.html

I got the Canucks, but they have a ton of other great styles that are Made in the US or Made in Canada.

20140127-212358.jpg

Here are my boots, post smelting trip on Sunday.

I bought them on Zappo.com, and when my first pair did not fit, they were super easy to exchange for the right size thanks to Zappo.

I found the bottoms to be a little thin on insulation. I bought a pair of felt inserts for the bottom made by Ranger that were made in Canada and they are great, they make the boots even warmer. I got those at the Labonville in Madison, Maine for $4.